Disappointing Choices for Best Picture

by nware-2 | created - 11 Apr 2012 | updated - 11 Apr 2012 | Public

Best Picture Oscar Winners that have not aged that well with superior other films released but snubbed in their respective years. I have reservations about close calls like All About Eve (Sunset Blvd, Rashomon), The Apartment (Psycho, La Dolche Vita), Lawrence of Arabia (To Kill a Mockingbird), The Sound of Music (Doctor Zhivago), Midnight Cowboy (Butch Cassidy), Godfather II (Chinatown), Annie Hall (Star Wars), Driving Miss Daisy (Glory), Unforgiven (The Crying Game), American Beauty (Fight Club, The Matrix, The Green Mile, Eyes Wide Shut, The Sixth Sense) A Beautiful Mind (Mulholland Drive), and No Country for Old Men (There Will Be Blood), but those are all very close so I'll give them a break.

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1. How Green Was My Valley (1941)

Not Rated | 118 min | Drama, Family

At the turn of the century in a Welsh mining village, the Morgans, he stern, she gentle, raise coal-mining sons and hope their youngest will find a better life.

Director: John Ford | Stars: Walter Pidgeon, Maureen O'Hara, Anna Lee, Donald Crisp

Votes: 17,848

Better films: Citizen Kane, The Maltese Falcon

2. Going My Way (1944)

Passed | 126 min | Comedy, Drama, Music

Father Charles O'Mailey, a young priest at a financially failing Church in a tough neighborhood, gains support and inspires his superior.

Director: Leo McCarey | Stars: Bing Crosby, Barry Fitzgerald, Frank McHugh, James Brown

Votes: 8,668 | Gross: $16.30M

Better films: Double Indemnity

3. The Best Years of Our Lives (1946)

Not Rated | 170 min | Drama, Romance, War

92 Metascore

Three World War II veterans return home to small-town America to discover that they and their families have been irreparably changed.

Director: William Wyler | Stars: Myrna Loy, Dana Andrews, Fredric March, Teresa Wright

Votes: 49,682 | Gross: $23.65M

Better films: It's a Wonderful Life

Great film though

4. An American in Paris (1951)

Not Rated | 114 min | Drama, Musical, Romance

Three friends struggle to find work in Paris. Things become more complicated when two of them fall in love with the same woman.

Director: Vincente Minnelli | Stars: Gene Kelly, Leslie Caron, Oscar Levant, Georges Guétary

Votes: 25,458 | Gross: $4.50M

Better films: A Streetcar Named Desire

Seriously, what the hell were they smoking that night

5. The Greatest Show on Earth (1952)

Not Rated | 152 min | Drama, Family, Romance

The dramatic lives of trapeze artists, a clown, and an elephant trainer are told against a background of circus spectacle.

Director: Cecil B. DeMille | Stars: James Stewart, Charlton Heston, Betty Hutton, Cornel Wilde

Votes: 10,801 | Gross: $36.00M

Better films: High Noon

6. Hamlet (1948)

Not Rated | 154 min | Drama

Prince Hamlet struggles over whether or not he should kill his uncle, whom he suspects has murdered his father, the former king.

Director: Laurence Olivier | Stars: Laurence Olivier, Jean Simmons, John Laurie, Esmond Knight

Votes: 13,146

Better films: The Treasure of the Sierra Madre

Great film though.

7. Marty (1955)

Not Rated | 90 min | Drama, Romance

A middle-aged butcher and a school teacher who have given up on the idea of love meet at a dance and fall for each other.

Director: Delbert Mann | Stars: Ernest Borgnine, Betsy Blair, Esther Minciotti, Augusta Ciolli

Votes: 17,788

Better films: Rebel without a Cause

Still a great movie though

8. Around the World in 80 Days (1956)

G | 175 min | Adventure, Comedy, Family

A Victorian Englishman bets that with the new steamships and railways he can circumnavigate the globe in eighty days.

Directors: Michael Anderson, John Farrow | Stars: David Niven, Cantinflas, Shirley MacLaine, Robert Newton

Votes: 20,638 | Gross: $42.00M

Better films: The Ten Commandments, Giant.

Awful and boring-to-death film

9. The Bridge on the River Kwai (1957)

PG | 161 min | Adventure, Drama, War

87 Metascore

After settling his differences with a Japanese PoW camp commander, a British colonel co-operates to oversee his men's construction of a railway bridge for their captors - while oblivious to a plan by the Allies to destroy it.

Director: David Lean | Stars: William Holden, Alec Guinness, Jack Hawkins, Sessue Hayakawa

Votes: 174,242 | Gross: $44.91M

Better films: Paths of Glory, Witness for the Prosecution, 12 Angry Men

Still a great movie though

10. Gigi (1958)

G | 115 min | Comedy, Musical, Romance

Weary of the conventions of Parisian society, a rich playboy and a youthful courtesan-in-training enjoy a platonic friendship, but it may not stay platonic for long.

Director: Vincente Minnelli | Stars: Leslie Caron, Maurice Chevalier, Louis Jourdan, Hermione Gingold

Votes: 16,633

Better films: Vertigo, Cat on the Hot Tin Hoof, The Defiant Ones

Good musical though

11. West Side Story (1961)

Not Rated | 153 min | Crime, Drama, Musical

86 Metascore

Two youngsters from rival New York City gangs fall in love, but tensions between their respective friends build toward tragedy.

Directors: Jerome Robbins, Robert Wise | Stars: Natalie Wood, George Chakiris, Richard Beymer, Russ Tamblyn

Votes: 81,762 | Gross: $43.66M

Better films: The Hustler, Judgment at Nuremberg, Breakfast at Tiffanys.

12. Tom Jones (1963)

Not Rated | 128 min | Adventure, Comedy, History

The romantic and chivalrous adventures of adopted bastard Tom Jones in 18th century England.

Director: Tony Richardson | Stars: Albert Finney, Susannah York, George Devine, Rachel Kempson

Votes: 9,564 | Gross: $37.60M

Better films: 8 1/2, This Sporting Life

13. My Fair Lady (1964)

G | 170 min | Drama, Family, Musical

A snobbish phonetics professor agrees to a wager that he can take a flower girl and make her presentable in high society.

Director: George Cukor | Stars: Audrey Hepburn, Rex Harrison, Stanley Holloway, Wilfrid Hyde-White

Votes: 75,141 | Gross: $72.00M

Better films: Dr. Strangelove, Becket

I love Audrey as much as everyone, but still, this wasn't the Best Picture by a long shot

14. A Man for All Seasons (1966)

G | 120 min | Biography, Drama, History

The story of Thomas More, who stood up to King Henry VIII when the King rejected the Roman Catholic Church to obtain a divorce and remarriage.

Director: Fred Zinnemann | Stars: Paul Scofield, Wendy Hiller, Robert Shaw, Leo McKern

Votes: 26,300 | Gross: $28.35M

Better films: Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolf?

Seriously, they should be ashamed for snubbing that one

15. In the Heat of the Night (1967)

Not Rated | 110 min | Crime, Drama, Mystery

75 Metascore

An African American police detective is asked to investigate a murder in a racially hostile southern town.

Director: Norman Jewison | Stars: Sidney Poitier, Rod Steiger, Warren Oates, Lee Grant

Votes: 56,473 | Gross: $24.38M

Better films: Bonnie and Clyde, Guess Who's Coming to Dinner, The Graduate

Still a good movie though

16. Oliver! (1968)

G | 153 min | Drama, Family, Musical

After being sold to a mortician, young orphan Oliver Twist runs away and meets a group of boys trained to be pickpockets by an elderly mentor.

Director: Carol Reed | Stars: Mark Lester, Ron Moody, Shani Wallis, Oliver Reed

Votes: 29,239 | Gross: $16.80M

Better films: 2001: A Space Odyssey, Rosemary's Baby

17. The French Connection (1971)

R | 104 min | Action, Crime, Drama

96 Metascore

A pair of NYC cops in the Narcotics Bureau stumble onto a drug smuggling job with a French connection.

Director: William Friedkin | Stars: Gene Hackman, Roy Scheider, Fernando Rey, Tony Lo Bianco

Votes: 93,313

Better films: A Clockwork Orange, The Last Picture Show

18. The Sting (1973)

PG | 129 min | Comedy, Crime, Drama

80 Metascore

Two grifters team up to pull off the ultimate con.

Director: George Roy Hill | Stars: Paul Newman, Robert Redford, Robert Shaw, Charles Durning

Votes: 204,367 | Gross: $159.60M

Better films: The Exorcist, American Graffiti

Still a great film though, I own it for good reason

19. Rocky (1976)

PG | 120 min | Drama, Sport

69 Metascore

Rocky Balboa, a small-time boxer, gets a supremely rare chance to fight heavy-weight champion Apollo Creed in a bout in which he strives to go the distance for his self-respect.

Director: John G. Avildsen | Stars: Sylvester Stallone, Talia Shire, Burt Young, Carl Weathers

Votes: 439,416 | Gross: $117.24M

Better films: Network, Taxi Driver

I hate putting it here because it's so great and I really love it back when the character was so fresh and real, but snubbing those other two is unforgivable.

20. Kramer vs. Kramer (1979)

PG | 105 min | Drama

77 Metascore

Ted Kramer's wife leaves her husband, allowing for a lost bond to be rediscovered between Ted and his son, Billy. But a heated custody battle ensues over the divorced couple's son, deepening the wounds left by the separation.

Director: Robert Benton | Stars: Dustin Hoffman, Meryl Streep, Jane Alexander, Justin Henry

Votes: 110,532 | Gross: $106.26M

Better films: Apocalypse Now

Great film to be sure, but that year was a travesty

21. Ordinary People (1980)

R | 124 min | Drama

87 Metascore

The accidental death of the older son of an affluent family deeply strains the relationships among the bitter mother, the good-natured father, and the guilt-ridden younger son.

Director: Robert Redford | Stars: Donald Sutherland, Mary Tyler Moore, Judd Hirsch, Timothy Hutton

Votes: 39,485 | Gross: $54.80M

Better films: Raging Bull

Quite a good movie, but seriously, what the hell were they thinking

22. Chariots of Fire (1981)

PG | 125 min | Biography, Drama, Sport

78 Metascore

Two British track athletes, one a determined Jew, and the other a devout Christian, compete in the 1924 Olympics.

Director: Hugh Hudson | Stars: Ben Cross, Ian Charleson, Nicholas Farrell, Nigel Havers

Votes: 46,103 | Gross: $58.97M

Better films: On Golden Pond, Raiders of the Lost Ark, Reds

23. Out of Africa (1985)

PG | 161 min | Biography, Drama, Romance

In 20th-century colonial Kenya, a Danish baroness/plantation owner has a passionate love affair with a free-spirited big-game hunter.

Director: Sydney Pollack | Stars: Meryl Streep, Robert Redford, Klaus Maria Brandauer, Michael Kitchen

Votes: 60,040 | Gross: $87.10M

Better films: The Color Purple

24. The Last Emperor (1987)

PG-13 | 163 min | Biography, Drama, History

76 Metascore

The story of the final Emperor of China.

Director: Bernardo Bertolucci | Stars: John Lone, Joan Chen, Peter O'Toole, Ruocheng Ying

Votes: 79,467 | Gross: $43.98M

Better films: Full Metal Jacket, Broadcast News, Fatal Attraction, Wall Street

25. Dances with Wolves (1990)

PG-13 | 181 min | Adventure, Drama, Western

72 Metascore

Lieutenant John Dunbar, assigned to a remote western Civil War outpost, befriends wolves and Indians, making him an intolerable aberration in the military.

Director: Kevin Costner | Stars: Kevin Costner, Mary McDonnell, Graham Greene, Rodney A. Grant

Votes: 208,072 | Gross: $184.21M

Better films: Goodfellas, Reversal of Fortune, Misery

26. Forrest Gump (1994)

PG-13 | 142 min | Drama, Romance

82 Metascore

The presidencies of Kennedy and Johnson, Vietnam, Watergate, and other history unfold through the perspective of an Alabama man with an IQ of 75.

Director: Robert Zemeckis | Stars: Tom Hanks, Robin Wright, Gary Sinise, Sally Field

Votes: 1,472,674 | Gross: $330.25M

Better films: The Shawshank Redemption, Pulp Fiction

Still a remarkable film though

27. Braveheart (1995)

R | 178 min | Biography, Drama, History

68 Metascore

When his secret bride is executed for assaulting an English soldier who tried to rape her, Sir William Wallace begins a revolt against King Edward I of England.

Director: Mel Gibson | Stars: Mel Gibson, Sophie Marceau, Patrick McGoohan, Angus Macfadyen

Votes: 840,625 | Gross: $75.60M

Better films: Se7en, Heat, Dead Man Walking, Leaving Las Vegas, Casino, Nixon

It's very good though

28. The English Patient (1996)

R | 162 min | Drama, Romance, War

87 Metascore

At the close of WWII, a young nurse tends to a badly-burned plane crash victim. His past is shown in flashbacks, revealing an involvement in a fateful love affair.

Director: Anthony Minghella | Stars: Ralph Fiennes, Juliette Binoche, Willem Dafoe, Kristin Scott Thomas

Votes: 157,644 | Gross: $78.65M

Better films: Fargo, Fargo, FARGO!!!

29. Titanic (1997)

PG-13 | 194 min | Drama, Romance

75 Metascore

A seventeen-year-old aristocrat falls in love with a kind but poor artist aboard the luxurious, ill-fated R.M.S. Titanic.

Director: James Cameron | Stars: Leonardo DiCaprio, Kate Winslet, Billy Zane, Kathy Bates

Votes: 890,625 | Gross: $659.33M

Better films: L.A. Confidential

Still a great film in a great year though

30. Shakespeare in Love (1998)

R | 123 min | Comedy, Drama, History

87 Metascore

A young Shakespeare, out of ideas and short of cash, meets his ideal woman and is inspired to write one of his most famous plays.

Director: John Madden | Stars: Gwyneth Paltrow, Joseph Fiennes, Geoffrey Rush, Tom Wilkinson

Votes: 192,405 | Gross: $100.32M

Better films: Saving Private Ryan, American History X, The Thin Red Line, The Truman Show, Pleasantville

31. Chicago (2002)

PG-13 | 113 min | Comedy, Crime, Musical

82 Metascore

Murderesses Velma Kelly and Roxie Hart find themselves on death row together and fight for the fame that will keep them from the gallows in 1920s Chicago.

Director: Rob Marshall | Stars: Renée Zellweger, Catherine Zeta-Jones, Richard Gere, Taye Diggs

Votes: 191,132 | Gross: $170.69M

Better films: Gangs of New York, The Pianist, Adaptation, Far From Heaven

32. Crash (I) (2004)

R | 112 min | Crime, Drama, Thriller

69 Metascore

Los Angeles citizens with vastly separate lives collide in interweaving stories of race, loss and redemption.

Director: Paul Haggis | Stars: Don Cheadle, Sandra Bullock, Thandie Newton, Karina Arroyave

Votes: 387,480 | Gross: $54.58M

Better films: Capote, Good Night and Good Luck, Munich, Walk the Line, Batman Begins, Brokeback Mountain, North Country, Sin City, A History of Violence, Memoirs of Geisha, Hustle & Flow, Syriana, and just about every other god-damn film that came out that year.

My choice for the single worst Best Picture winner in Oscar history and that covers a LOT of ground.

33. Slumdog Millionaire (2008)

R | 120 min | Drama, Romance

86 Metascore

A Mumbai teen reflects on his upbringing in the slums when he is accused of cheating on the Indian Version of "Who Wants to be a Millionaire?"

Directors: Danny Boyle, Loveleen Tandan | Stars: Dev Patel, Freida Pinto, Saurabh Shukla, Anil Kapoor

Votes: 709,999 | Gross: $141.32M

Better films: In Bruges, Revolutionary Road, The Dark Knight, The Boy in the Striped Pajamas, Doubt

Great film though

34. The Hurt Locker (2008)

R | 131 min | Drama, History, Thriller

94 Metascore

During the Iraq War, a Sergeant recently assigned to an army bomb squad is put at odds with his squad mates due to his maverick way of handling his work.

Director: Kathryn Bigelow | Stars: Jeremy Renner, Anthony Mackie, Brian Geraghty, Guy Pearce

Votes: 371,581 | Gross: $17.02M

Better films: Inglourious Basterds, Precious, The Road, The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo

I was and still am very happy for Kathryn Bigelow though, she did do a good